THERE is a desperate need to have a population policy in place before next year’s States elections to stop candidates making promises they cannot keep, according to Deputy Geoff Southern.
The St Helier No 2 representative wants the States to set a clear population target before the Island goes to the polls next October. He also has concerns that policies being devised now are based on unscientific and unsustainable growth predictions that would be unacceptable to the majority of voters.
‘Take the long-term care fund, for example,’ he said, ‘The figures – and the amount that we are being asked to contribute – are based on net immigration of 350 people a year.
‘Yes, that was a target established in the 2009 Strategic Plan but the States have repeatedly set targets and repeatedly failed to keep to them. At one stage they aimed for net immigration of 150 heads of households but in the same year the actual figure was a net increase of 650 people.
‘Why are we making policies – on housing, education, social security etc – without any clear idea of what we want the population to be?
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